WESTFIELD, NJ — The Westfield girls varsity ice hockey team had a disappointing 6-14 season last year, and after losing 10 seniors to graduation, they have new faces that will have to step up in the shortened 2021 season.

“We have had a JV team for the last two seasons and now we should have a large number of players moving up to contribute,” said head coach Matt Gualtieri. “We also have some incoming freshmen that will be competing for playing time.”

The Lady Blue Devils will have key players from every grade seeing significant ice time this year. Seniors Mary Beke, Anabella Buontempo, Julia Wojno-Oranski and Sophia Principato will be the veteran leaders of the team, along with junior Amanda Werner, who was tied for second in goals last year.

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Sophomore Lillie Martel is coming off an impressive freshman season and will see more time this year. Freshman Alexis Scherzer will step in at goalie.

“While we’ll certainly miss the impact our graduated seniors left on our team, we’re looking forward to continuing our goal to be a much deeper team,” Gualtieri said.

According to Gualtieri, the impact of COVID has been severe to the team and season.

“Our season has been shortened, we’ll have to handle our training sessions on and off ice differently, no team bonding off the ice, girls have to be dressed before they get to the rink are just a few of the many changes we have to make due to COVID,” he said.

The Lady Blue Devils’ season opener against Morristown-Beard, originally planned for Tuesday, has been postponed.

Michael Siroty is a student at Westfield High School participating in a journalism program with TAPinto Westfield.

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